2018

Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 01/29/2018

Quinn facilitates employee relations at ECC

Hired as a consultant for Elgin Community College's Human Resources Department in November 2016, ECC could have been just another client for Mary Quinn. Instead, ECC became her permanent work home.

Chattopadhyay believes in the beauty of physics
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 01/22/2018

Chattopadhyay believes in the beauty of physics

Soma Chattopadhyay, PhD, adjunct professor of physics and engineering, found a way to combine some of her favorite things-math, science, research and nature-into a career teaching college-level physics.

Featured Story Article
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 01/12/2018

Zeman markets education, advocates for women

If you've ever come across an advertisement for ECC online, over the radio or on TV, you've likely heard Ashley Zeman's voice. As marketing and public relations specialist and the college's resident voiceover artist, Zeman “helps departments at the college develop marketing strategies and plans to promote various programs, services and events.”

Featured Story Article
Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 01/08/2018

To Kernler, all of it matters

For Dan Kernler, associate professor of mathematics, it all matters. From helping students become college-ready in math, to providing the knowledge and skills to complete courses and master content directly related to their major and future career, he has been positively impacting students for 14 years since joining the college in 2003.

Greg Wheaton profile picture
Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 02/05/2018

With math, Wheaton always finds a problem to solve

What does a guitar have to do with math? Plenty, says Mathematics Instructor Greg Wheaton. “There is an overlap,” he explains. “It's thinking about strategy and having precision when you play.”

Laura Haske profile picture
Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 02/12/2018

Haske’s heart is in Elgin and teaching law

Elgin native Laura Haske, JD, assistant paralegal professor and paralegal instructional coordinator, moved out of state for college and lived in a few different cities before returning to Elgin in 2009, a move that was prompted by the desire to be closer to family.

Kim Wagner profile picture
Administrator Profile | Newsletter
Published 02/19/2018

Wagner serves students facing financial hardships

Kim Wagner, executive director of student financial services and auxiliary enterprises, oversees the teams that operate the financial aid, student accounts, business and finance systems, food operations, bookstore and child care departments within the business and finance division at ECC.

Dave Rudden profile
Administrator Profile | Newsletter
Published 02/26/2018

David Rudden goes the distance for big data at ECC

David Rudden, managing director of institutional research (IR), describes his position as the “Chandler Bing job of higher education,” referring to the popular character on the TV show “Friends” who no one knows what he does for a living.

Antonio Ramirez photo
Newsletter
Published 03/01/2018

Student Activists Embody the Spirit of Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Student survivors of the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida are grieving. But they are also organizing. Within days of the tragedy students used social media, television events, and a planned “March for Our Lives” on March 24th to shape the message around the shooting: #NeverAgain.

Dawn Munson profile
Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 03/05/2018

Munson credits music as foundation for career in teaching

Music is a big part of Dawn Munson's life, having played trumpet since she was 10 years old. In fact, music also brought her to Elgin Community College, where she participated in the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra when she was in seventh grade.

Heidi Eaton Profile picture
Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 03/12/2018

Eaton coaches in the classroom and on the court

In the classroom, in basketball and in life, Professor of Digital Technologies Heidi Eaton believes in learning, taking calculated risks, growing, and above all else-never giving up.

Divya Ajinth Profile image
Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 03/19/2018

Serving students keeps instructor Divya Ajinth motivated

Divya Ajinth is motivated by the opportunity she has each day to impact the lives of the students she teaches in her Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Adult Secondary Education (ASE) classes. Her role as an ABE/ASE instructor prepares those Elgin Community College students for not only to take the High School Equivalency (HSE) Exam, but also qualify for better educational and career opportunities.

Liddy Hope profile
Staff Profile
Published 05/07/2018

From teaching to teaching teachers, Hope serves faculty at all levels

Currently in her first year as director of Elgin Community College’s Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL), Elizabeth "Liddy" Hope, PhD, describes herself as a teacher for the teachers. Having taught at ECC as a unit adjunct faculty member in sociology since 2011 (and at nine institutions total since 1998), Hope is well-prepared to serve ECC faculty.

Alex Buckwinkler profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Alex Buckwinkler: I wouldn’t be who I have become without ECC

I began my journey at Elgin Community College just under two years ago. Along the way, things haven’t always been easy, yet I managed to persist with my education and will now be graduating with my Associate in Arts this spring.

Ana Rojas profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Ana Rojas: At ECC, I found my voice and advocated for issues I care about

My last three years at Elgin Community College have been like a roller coaster, with many ups and downs. ECC has always accepted me and provided me with enormous opportunities for which I will forever be extremely grateful.

Brianna Russell profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Brianna Russell: The ECC Foundation helped me achieve my dream

When I reflect on my time at Elgin Community College, I am overwhelmed at the sense of accomplishment and joy that I feel in earning my dream degree. I have attended ECC for the past four years, and will be finishing my Associate of Applied Science in nursing degree with honors.

Brittany Pales profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Brittany Pales: ECC invests in smart, caring students who make a difference in the world; I am that difference

Everything is possible with Elgin Community College as a starting point. I have been attending ECC for three years to earn my Associate in Arts degree. I have been involved in Phi Theta Kappa, engaged in honors program classes, and included on the President’s List each semester of my attendance.

Edgar Alba profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Edgar Alba: I discovered my passions through unforgettable experiences

Two years ago, I was ready to dive into debt for a private university education instead of considering Elgin Community College. Today, I leave saying that attending ECC is one of the best choices I have ever made due to its affordability, quality professors, and the important connections and lasting friendships I found.

Fatima Cruz profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Fatima Cruz: I will continue to strive for a better future

At Elgin Community College, I have gained valuable experiences. Through Student Government, in the position of senator and vice president, I was able to work with a team of fellow student leaders to promote student welfare. I became exposed to the art of advocacy while representing the ECC community to legislators in Springfield

Jaida Olvera profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Jaida Olvera: I will be the first woman in my family to earn a degree

During my senior year of high school, I started at Elgin Community College through the amazing tech prep program and discovered my goals; but the opportunities I received didn’t stop there.

Juan Chavez profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Juan Chavez: Through the ESL program, I found my voice

Learning English was one of the most important goals that I wanted to achieve when I moved to the United States in 2013. Back then, I only knew a couple words, and I could not understand anything when someone was talking to me. I felt frustrated because I really wanted to know what people were talking about and to be a part of their conversation.

Krystal Calhoun profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Krystal Calhoun: The journey doesn’t stop here

“Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.” This influential quote by Michelle Obama has become the reality of my journey at Elgin Community College. My college journey began in the spring of 2016 and has carried me through some incredible moments since then.

Michelle Kuzdzal profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Michelle Kuzdzal: ECC’s paralegal program changed my perspective

I moved to Algonquin with my mom in 2015. At that point, I was a high school dropout with no motivation and a past I wasn’t proud of. So, I took moving as an opportunity to start over and make something of myself. Shortly after getting settled, I got a job, received my GED, and I began my journey at Elgin Community College.

Nick LaRocco profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Nick LaRocco: ECC helped me develop academically and personally

My journey at Elgin Community College has been not only long and arduous, but quite rewarding and meaningful! After graduating a semester early from high school in January 2015, I had a head start on beginning my college career at ECC, where I’ve worked hard to earn my associate degree in management.

Priscilla Gonzalez profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Priscilla Gonzalez: ECC wasn’t my first choice, but it was my best choice

Elgin Community College was not on the list of the colleges and universities I originally wanted to attend. Back in high school, I heard about community college stereotypes and remember wanting to be like the kids who planned to go to four-year universities.

Solana Victoria profile
Alumni Profile | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2018

Solana Victoria: I found my passion and purpose at ECC

Things like this don’t happen to people like me; I was brought up in adversity, and I spent most of my life in adversity. There was never a time in my life when I thought I would be graduating from college with a 4.0 GPA, be selected as a commencement speaker, and have a full-time job in the field in which I am earning my degree.

An HSE student receives a diploma
Achievements | Events
Published 05/18/2018

Adult Basic and Secondary Education celebrates student achievement

On Saturday, April 28, Elgin Community College’s English as a Second Language Program celebrated with an annual tradition. The event honored 89 students who transitioned from one ESL level to the next, or who have completed ESL and transferred into college-level classes.

Aimee Padilla looks at a science beaker
Achievements | Foundation | Newsletter
Published 06/25/2018

IMPACT: Purpose and Passion

After high school, Aimee Padilla did not know what she wanted to do, so she came to Elgin Community College to explore. She took classes she liked, including biology and math, hoping to find her passion.

Pietrek Kubasak poses with a welding draft
Achievements | Foundation | Newsletter
Published 06/25/2018

IMPACT: Integrating Interests

People often treated Pietrek Kubasak differently when they learned he was homeschooled–it was usually in a good way. “A veterinarian explained biology and surgery to me. An HVAC specialist described how a system worked,” Pietrek recalled.

Lisa Morema-Murphy Spartan Review profile image
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 07/02/2018

For Morema-Murphy, life is how you design it

For Graphic Designer Lisa Morema-Murphy, it’s always been about art. Although she had also been interested in science and music in high school, Morema-Murphy’s mentor encouraged her to take a course at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in pursuit of her interests.

A garden plot in the Advocate Sherman Hospital
Student Resources
Published 07/12/2018

ECC’s Spartan Food Pantry is growing [vegetables]

A hearty supply of fresh garden-grown vegetables are now available at Elgin Community College’s student-run Spartan Food Pantry thanks to two garden beds in the Advocate Sherman Hospital Natural Prairie and Community Garden.

Alex Theimer
Student Profile
Published 07/16/2018

Alex Theimer: 'ECC gave me the tools and coursework I needed to prepare for MIT'

Elgin Community College helped veteran Alex Theimer earn his associate degree and transfer to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Julissa Alvarez
Student Profile
Published 07/16/2018

Julissa Alvarez: 'ECC challenged me and provided me with career-oriented skills'

Elgin Community College helped graduate Julissa Alvarez earn a paralegal certificate and start a new career.

Andrew Pratt
Student Profile
Published 07/16/2018

Andrew Pratt: 'Student resources at ECC helped me succeed'

Elgin Community College helped graduate Andrew Pratt overcome obstacles and pursue his dream of becoming an animator.

Peter Gray profile image
Staff Profile
Published 08/06/2018

Gray connects through intercultural communication and a global perspective

Education and Work Center (EWC) Transitions Coordinator Peter Gray seeks to make meaningful connections with people through the intercultural communication skills he’s acquired along his educational and professional journey.

Peggy Gundrum profile picture
Administrator Profile
Published 08/13/2018

Gundrum’s guidance supports students on their educational journey

Associate Dean of Advising, Transfer and Career Development Services Peggy Gundrum, remembers the challenges of being a college student and recent graduate. Her passion for serving students at Elgin Community College is fueled by her own experience.

Ramon Albino profile picture
Staff Profile
Published 08/20/2018

For Albino, ECC is home [court]

Admissions Coordinator Ramon Albino has been a Spartan for over 13 years since first beginning as a student employee in 2005. He’s held various positions within the college including student trustee, student worker and technical enrollment facilitator, but his latest move has him on the Admissions office roster.

Ismael Cordova headshot
Student Clubs & Organizations
Published 08/20/2018

2018-19 Student Government Message

A special welcome message from ECC’s student body president Ismael Cordova:

Mary Peterhans profile picture
Faculty Profile
Published 08/27/2018

Peterhans aspires to radiate her passion as an instructor

Adjunct Digital Technologies Instructor Mary Peterhans, an Elgin Community College veteran of 35 years, knows what it takes to be successful at ECC: Put students first.

Susanne Kepley profile pic
Administrator Profile | Newsletter
Published 09/04/2018

For Kepley, theatre deserves a standing ovation

Theatre takes center stage for Susanne Kepley, Elgin Community College Arts Center’s resident manager of marketing and patron services, who has long loved the art form.

Brandi Clemmons profile picture
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 09/10/2018

For Clemmons, career satisfaction is all in the job

Aristotle’s quote “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work” rings true for Brandi Clemmons, event coordinator, who works in Elgin Community College’s Facilities Rental and Food Services division.

Ginger Alms profile picture
Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 09/17/2018

Renovations and revisions: Alms enjoys developing potential

In the classroom and with her flip houses, Instructor of English Ginger Alms enjoys developing potential.

Wendy Miller Profile Picture
Administrator Profile | Newsletter
Published 09/24/2018

‘Deaning’ involves a lot of passion and a touch of magic for Miller

Walt Disney World may be the most magical place on earth, but for Wendy Miller, dean of health professions, math, science and engineering, Elgin Community College is the most rewarding place on earth.

Dr. David Sam portrait
Academics
Published 09/27/2018

ECC President David Sam: Community colleges can best train the new generation of skilled workers

A message from ECC President David Sam about community colleges' role in training the new generation of skilled workers.

Diane Stredde profile picture
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 09/27/2018

Music education hits a high note for Stredde

Assisting students and aspiring musicians on their educational journeys is music to Administrative Assistant Diane Stredde’s ears.

Mark Carriveau profile picture
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 10/08/2018

Carriveau goes the distance for the perfect shot

Electronic Imaging Specialist and resident comedian for Elgin Community College’s Marketing and Communications department Mark Carriveau spends his time searching for the perfect shot.

Susan Zelms profile picture
Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 10/15/2018

Zelms empowers students to succeed

In marathon running and in life, preparation is key. English Unit Adjunct Faculty member Susan Zelms helps Elgin Community College students during the degree completion “race,” giving them a leg up in life—and cheering them on as they cross the finish line to walk across the stage during commencement.

Jurice Jackson profile picture
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 10/22/2018

Jackson tackles students' questions and coaches them to the end zone

Technical Enrollment Facilitator Jurice Jackson is the ultimate fan—of sports and seeing Elgin Community College students reach their dreams.

Theresa Bosteder profile picture
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 10/26/2018

Family is foundational for Bosteder

To say that family plays a large role in Adult Basic Education Center Office Coordinator Theresa Bosteder’s life is an understatement.

Kelly Strossner profile picture
Administrator Profile | Newsletter
Published 11/01/2018

Strossner sees the beauty of books

For Managing Director of Retail Operations Kelly Strossner, it’s all about the books. Her love for literature goes way back to her first job in a bookstore when she was 15 and her school days when she became fascinated with fiction (and nonfiction).

Al Collins profile picture
Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 11/09/2018

Collins’ passion for welding, teaching ignites a spark in students

If you asked adjunct welding instructor Chester “Al” Collins how to perfect your weld, he’d tell you: proper technique and practice. But how about finding the perfect, fulfilling career? For Collins, it’s blending his burning passion for helping Elgin Community College students succeed with years of [metal] strong experience in the field he’s teaching.